Embracing Workplace Culture

2 Top Reasons Why You Should Care About Culture In Your Workplace

Just look at the trio – Melvin, Jinhai, and Indra – brimming with ear-to-ear grins.

The event? Town-hall meet of a 50-member team of a healthtech start-up.

The reason for the broad, face-splitting smiles? They just won the Innovation in Practice award for the cloud-based service they had developed that alerts healthcare providers when patients need assistance immediately.

The three had joined at almost the same time, and were thrown together to work on this project, which was one among the five prioritized by the company. 

As is usually with a start-up, the environment was chaotic, super-dynamic, with constantly changing demands. 

But the vision was clear. The mission was definite, and deadline driven.

The trio got to work, fueled by passion, laser focus, and steely resolve, willingly going the extra mile to complete the project.

Their reward was seeing the project out the door, and up and running at the clinic that was their client.

So, when their names were announced at the meet (the town hall meet itself was a pleasant surprise; since it was a small start-up, no one had any expectations of any such ‘corporate’ event!), they were like deer in headlights!

Then the smiles flowed. The applause, the cheering, and the tears. The champagne.

When they went up to receive the award, and the gifts from the CEO – as they narrated later – they were sold – to the organization, the management, the vision. The company had won their hearts, and their sense of self-worth and value in their immediate environment skyrocketed.

What did this organization do that fostered such loyalty and sense of belonging in the employees?

Something very simple, yet something very solid.

By hosting the town-hall meet, and the felicitation, this fledgling start-up had just sent a very strong message to its team. And that was – 

“We address all our team members, clarify our goals as a company, encourage communication which is bi-directional, and recognize significant achievements which we publicly acknowledge.”

This act showed that the company was building a culture of open communication, and employee appreciation.

Now who wouldn’t want to work in such an environment?

Just as each one of us have a defining personality, character, values, behaviors, and beliefs, so does an organization. 

All of these elements constitute the company’s work culture, and they must be defined. Just as the vision, mission, and goals are. 

Work culture should not be left to ‘doing and forming on the job’. That leads to confused signals, ambiguity, and gives room for bias.

The actions and behaviors of the management and employees represent the culture of the company.

A culture that is seen as positive and nurturing naturally draws talent.

I can see some of you doing the eye roll. And thinking, ‘Oh, yeah, now we all have to be warm, and fuzzy, say good things all the time, avoid critiquing, and keep everyone happy. What if work – the reason we are here – gets affected? Doesn’t that count??’

A ‘positive’ and ‘nurturing’ culture does not equal to a soft, uncritical, unchallenged, easy deadline/no deadline environment. That’s a ridiculous and totally misplaced misperception, which unfortunately, quite a few still have!

The most successful companies in the world rank high on workplace culture. Think Microsoft (Technology), IBM (Technology), Google (Technology), Hubspot (Technology), Elsevier (Publishing), Experian (Credit Reporting), Estee Lauder (Skincare, Makeup, Fragrance, Hair Care). Think also Dow (Manufacturing and Production), CarMax (Retail), Nugget Market Inc (Retail), Zillow Group (Real Estate), Grainger (Industrial Services), OhioHealth (Health Care), Panda Restaurant Group Inc (Hospitality), Genentech (Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals), Hyatt Hotels Corporation (Hospitality), …… the list goes on and on! As you can see, the industries are varied, the turnover is different, yet –

The work culture is praised by the employees who love working here, for whom it is a great place to work!

Time now for the lowdown on the two most important reasons as to why you should care about inculcating an affirming and encouraging environment at your workplace:

1. Your reputation – workplace culture – precedes your name; it is your identity, your USP. So, you have a current employee telling his friend, ‘Hey, I love working here. I am encouraged to try out new ideas, even if I fall flat on my face the first couple of times. They have faith in my abilities.’  What does this behavior tell you about the company? 

That it is one that values innovation, trusts its employees’ talent, and understands the process of getting it right. Three fantastic indicators of a positive work culture.

Bound to attract talent!

2. Employee stickiness, and engagement: employees stay in organizations if they are encouraged, motivated, and acknowledged. ‘My manager is my inspiration’, confides an associate of a multi-national to his friend. ‘He gives me hard goals, charts the roadmap, lends his shoulder when I feel challenged, supports me all the way, without allowing compromises on my schedule and goals, and when I deliver, recognizes my work in front of the team. Sometimes this is not reflected in my salary increment, but you know what, it doesn’t matter! I think the world of this workplace culture, and the tradeoff of a couple of hundreds of dollars isn’t worth it!’ 

Wow! This is an organization with managers who walk the talk – who are clear in their communication, goal and direction setting, empathetic, yet firm and fair, supportive of their employees, and confident enough to recognize the employee’s achievements, and give him the spotlight. Who wouldn’t want to stay on?

Get these two right, and you will get the talent you want from the marketplace, and talent that will stay.

At Jobs n Gigs, we curate talent for clients ranging from the Fortune 500s, through to the start-ups.

So, if you are talent on the hunt, or hunting for talent, come to us at https://jobsngigs.com/ and feel the difference.

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